Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
It seems that there is an almost endless flow of people wanting to curse one another. This is not cursing in the sense of so many of the supernaturally themed TV shows, but simply to wish evil on an other person. This election cycle, it seems that there is vitriol to spare about one group or another and I am often tempted to join in with the throng and start shouting imprecations. This morning’s verse is a challenge to do the opposite.
There will always be people with whom I disagree. Worse, there will always be people who are openly hostile toward me. God, through Paul, tells me to bless them. The word used is actually from two roots that mean “beautiful” (εὖ) and “word” (λόγος) God is not merely telling me to bless those who would like to do me harm, but to speak well of them, as well. My speech about those who would persecute me should be beautiful. Challenging, to put it mildly.
As things grow more difficult — and they will — and rhetoric becomes more vitriolic — and it will — God’s instruction to me, through Paul, is to speak beautifully: to bless and praise and otherwise make my words a blessing to those who hear them.